Mythical Bone and Herb Stock and Broth

Bone Broth has become new branded name for an ancient tonic food. There’s history behind why we gravitate towards chicken soup when we’re sick – like the Jewish folk tradition of prescribing chicken soup for sickness. Why? Probably because it works for us and it is likely entwined into our lineage.

Ancestors were maybe boiling carcasses as a primal instinct and natural byproduct of the advent of fire. In Traditional Chinese Medicine bone broth and herbal stocks were used over 2500 years ago. For Vietnamese pho marrow rich bones are chosen. And then there’s noodle slurping Ramen! Broth making is a mythical tradition that spans across cultures and time.

Just in case you haven’t heard the good news, bone broth is reported to promote overall wellness, healthy skin and bones, improve gut health, and provide bioavailable minerals. It is a whole body tonic. Among a slew of articles on the topic, Rylen Feeney put together a concise paper called The Power of the Almighty Bone Broth, in which he covers the nutrients found in bone broth including minerals, Marrow, Cartilage, Glycine, Proline, Collagen and Gelatin.

So what’s the secret? Is it difficult to obtain bone broth? Likable products are starting to become available but making bone broth is quite simple. One must first acquire a nice sized stock pot, slow cooker, or pressure cooker and a pile of bones. Then set aside time you’ll be home as the broth will be cooking for a long time. Put the bones (possibly veggies and herbs) in a bunch of water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and let it go.

Basic modern bone broth recipes include chopped vegetables like onion, carrot, celery and bay leaves, salt and pepper. Vivian Lee shared a great family recipe “The Chicken Soup of Chinese Aunties”online, which is essentially a simmered herb-packed chicken. The herbs include goji, longan, astragalus, Chinese yam, ginger, and red dates.

While Lee’s recipe only calls for 2-3 hours of simmering, more true to the definition of broth, Feeney directs as follows for simmering broth: For fish, at least two hours; for poultry, at least eight hours; for beef, at least 12 hours. He also suggests using broth within seven days of making it. Sally Fallon, author of Nourishing Traditions, suggests using the broth within three days or transferring to safe containers and freezing. Mason jars work great for storage, one can use a mesh strainer and pour directly into jars after the broth has cooled.

Two great brands producing Bone Broth with high standards commercially are Kettle and Fire and Epic.

Fallon also suggests really paying attention to where you source your bones – locate free range, grass fed and non-gmo fed animals- as the long boiling might make a broth of toxic, unwanted components. One can include other animal parts – feet, knuckles, oxtail, using the whole bird carcass, etcetera. Many folks say putting in some Apple Cider vinegar into the water with bones before boiling helps to extract all the nutrients from the bones.

A Middle Eastern and African broth is made from Mulukhiyah leaves that, when boiled, becomes mucilaginous broth. It is traditionally cooked with chicken or at least chicken stock. While chicken is great for flavor, mucilaginous substances (like slippery elm and marshmallow root) are thought to help repair gut lining and have been used in herbalism for ulcers and digestion among other great benefits. As a result, a broth like this broth could be even more healing for the gut.

Here’s the main point – in many of the traditional recipes for broth or stock there are also herbs and vegetables, even mushrooms. It’s worth thinking about returning to traditions of broth making with bones and herbs.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This information and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.